About this time last year, I completed my first commissioned pet portrait painting of a dog named Harvey. It is only fitting that I would complete the painting of his housemates, Tiger Lilly and Tink at the same time this year!
Like Harvey, I actually had the opportunity to meet my subjects for this portrait. I went to see Tiger Lilly and Tink at their home and snapped a bunch of photos.
Tink was quite the ham.
Tiger Lilly, on the other hand, was a bit more reclusive.
Both were very sweet and fun and lovable. They did show some disdain for their housemate Harvey, however.
Although I took several photos, I ended up using one submitted by their person for the basic structure of the painting.
I was really struck by the poses in this photo. It was not an easy picture to work from, because the cats are behind a window screen. The other photos helped me with details.
The First step in creating the painting was to develop a reference image from the photo using Photoshop filters, which I then traced onto a black canvas using a projector. I then started blocking in shapes with color.
Using my usual layering technique, I refined the colors and shapes, building up color by painting many layers of varied colors on top of each other. Each layer shows some trace of the underneath layers.
I tend to paint grayish cats in blue tones; striped cats with very simplified implications of stripes. My colors are what are distinctive about my paintings, so grays do not tend to go onto my palette.
As long as the character of the animal is portrayed, my patrons tend to enjoy the color absraction and the simplification of shapes and patterns.
The background of this portrait was designed to coordinate with the background in Harvey’s painiting.
Tiger Lilly and Tink were so much fun to paint, as was Harvey! I am so grateful to them and their family for getting me started on this journey of painting the portraits of beloved pets. It has been such a great year with each portrait being a grand adventure!
If you are interested in a pet portrait of your animal, info about the process can be found here.
Happy Holidays! may the season be filled with love, light and peace, and ADVENTURE!
Life is an Adventure!